I would like to know why NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe still has a job. For that matter, I’d like to know why no charges are pending against him or anyone under his authority. Fully a year after Columbia’s disintegration over Texas – a series of mistakes and arrogant inactions that cost the lives of seven of America’s finest and a billion-dollar spacecraft – he has the same job, same pay, same cock-sure, “I – I mean we – know everything” attitude, and little risk of being sent off to federal prison.
Mistakes happen. Poor judgments happen. Negligence and dereliction of duty do not just happen. NASA’s leadership had every indication that something might be wrong with the shuttle; several engineers warned that the worst was possible, yet no tests were conducted until after lives were lost, no contingency plans were developed, and no effort was made to evaluate or repair the damage from space.
At NASA, the buck stops at the desk of Sean O’Keefe. Last February, so did seven lives and billions of dollars of public funds. I don’t believe that he should resign – he shouldn’t be allowed that dignity. Rather, he should be escorted from his office by NASA Security.
Where is accountability?